“Grown adults doing TikTok – make it stop.” Mima (AKA The Mermaid Effect) on her lockdown hate
Mima Rodwell is the creative force steering The Mermaid Effect, a brand – with a whole lot of love and brushstrokes – that brings a serious HAUL of joy to brides around the world with its cool painted bridal jackets and bohemian feel. Having left her full time job as a fashion graphic designer in February 2019 to kickstart The Mermaid Effect, Mima hasn’t looked back since. Instead, there’s been a whole load of brides – worldwide – flaunting seriously coveted painted jackets, and an Instagram account to document the label’s success. I caught up with the talented lady herself to get the lowdown on her lockdown…
#1 Provide us with three words that sum-up how you were feeling about lockdown when it first started, and then three words about how you feel now:
Before: “Exhausted, gutted, anxious.”
After: “Acceptance, flabby, quietly optimistic.”
#2 What time do you get up? Has this changed? Is life a little slower? Talk to us about your new daily routine…
“I normally wake up at 6am, go for a quick walk/run and start work around 7am. During this weird time, I have embraced the slower pace and now lie-in and read my book in bed until my boyfriend gets up for work at 8.59am (!!) I have always been a massive snacker and this hasn’t changed, my day mostly revolves around mealtimes. But, with little else to distract me in the day, snacks are on a constant rotation. By the time 5pm comes around, I’m ready for a break from painting and emails. That would normally be ‘gym-time’ but now it’s chill on the sofa and question if it’s acceptable to eat dinner so early. Normally the answer is – yes, totally acceptable – but buy some time by having a gin.”
#3 How is lockdown impacting your business, and how can people support you?
“Wedding postponements have hit my business quite hard, my clients have been fantastic and SO kind. I haven’t had any cancellations luckily, but a lot of postponements, which means that the income that I had planned for the next few months I won’t be receiving until 2021. It’s a difficult time, but I do count myself lucky every day that I am still able to do something that I love, and my friends and family are safe and healthy.
The best way people can support me would be to share the love, reminisce by posting pictures of their jackets, and keep spreading the word via their socials.” Find The Mermaid Effect on Instagram here.
#4 Name three local businesses you are supporting or would like to support more…
No.1 “When Charlie Met Hannah (wedding photographer + videographer duo).”
No.2 “Rachel Burgess Bridal Boutique (A queen supporting Welsh bridal designers).”
No.3 “E&W Couture (Sophie has been making scrubs for the NHS).”
#5 What’s your favourite isolation snack?
“What isn’t?! I have to put myself on weekly chocolate bans because I take it too far…at the moment my snack of choice would be yoghurt covered rice-cakes because I can tell myself they are basically healthy??”
#6 What’s your most recommended quarantine pick-me-up when you’re feeling down?
“Air! The best thing about this all happening in spring is how spoilt we are with the flowers – daffodils, then cherry blossom, then wisteria! Flowers make me feel better instantly, so I always buy some when we do the big shop.”
#7 What’s the item you can now NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dream continuously about)…
“White chocolate and raspberry cookies…WHERE ARE YOU?!!!!”
#8 What’s the strangest thing that’s happened during your lockdown period…
“I moved in with my boyfriend – we found a flat, watched a video and prayed it wasn’t a flat catfish. Luckily it’s fab and so far we’re still friends!”
#9 Favourite app for keeping in touch digitally with friends and family?
#10 Name your lockdown hate:
“Grown adults doing TikTok – make it stop.”
#11 Name your lockdown love:
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated?
“I started making ‘Hope Hearts’ to raise money for NHS charities at the start of lockdown. I sold 350 and ran out of hearts, but I had one lovely lady who still donated despite the fact that I couldn’t give her anything in return.”
#14 Talk to us about what’s new at your brand?
“At the beginning of lockdown I started painting personalised hanging hearts with snowdrops on, as they are a symbol of hope to raise money for NHS charities. I originally started off with 100 thinking I wouldn’t sell any, but ended up selling 350 and raising over £1000, something I am so proud of.
This time has also been a period for development, with the slower pace I can actually plan and put into action the things I never had time for before which I am so excited for! I teamed up with Charlie from When Charlie Met Hannah to create a garden photoshoot. I painted a tiny ‘lockdown bride’ Barbie jacket which was ALOT of fun and the photos are amazing!”
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.3 “Garlic bread.”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted?
#17 What series have you now completed on Netflix? Any recommendations?
“Normal People on BBC iPlayer – I’m OBSESSED, I can’t stop crying at the playlist. I had to be given ‘time outs’ after each episode because I was a snotty wreck. It is so beautiful, I can’t wait to re-watch it.”
#18 What would be your quarantine book list?
The Mermaid Effect: “I’m trying to read The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, but I just want to read Normal People.”
#19 And, finally, your quarantine cocktail/tipple of choice?
“Gin with elderflower cordial and a couple of raspberries, cos’ health.”
Want to discover more about The Mermaid Effect? Click here.